The extra-long logging haul

Apr 12, 2023
As forests shrink, drivers work 16-hour days to deliver single loads of logs to BC sawmills When Eugene Wilson started driving a logging truck 24 years ago, he worked out of the Bulkley valley community of Houston three hours west of Prince George. He recalls the trips as if they were yesterday. He’d begin the… View Article

Raising emissions while pledging to lower them — British Columbia’s Orwellian LNG gambit

Mar 23, 2023
In 2007, then-BC premier Gordon Campbell passed the “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Act” committing BC to a 33 per cent reduction in emissions from 2007 levels by 2020. Despite premier Campbell’s good intentions, emissions in 2020 were down just 1.6 per cent. In 2016, in lieu of increasing the carbon tax implemented in Campbell’s greenhouse… View Article

Discussions of foreign interference and national security can quickly become toxic

Mar 21, 2023
Open Letter to the Right Honorable David Johnston, Independent Special Rapporteur, Government of Canada from the Advisory Group, Canada-China Focus. Signatories below. We are deeply concerned that discussions of foreign interference and national security can quickly become toxic as we have already seen in the accusations that a respected Chinese Canadian senator and a newly elected mayor are agents of… View Article

Houston Falling: Super-sized mills lead to super-sized problems for BC forests and workers

Mar 2, 2023
When the world’s biggest sawmill opened its doors, then-premier Gordon Campbell enthused that it could shoot out enough lumber to build all of British Columbia’s new annual housing stock, which was then averaging 26,000 units per year. After the ribbon was cut and the first logs passed through its computerized scanners and whirring sawblades on… View Article
People holding up a sign saying “BC needs pay equity legislation!”

We know BC has a gender pay gap – it’s time to do something about it

Mar 2, 2023
This article is excerpted from an open letter released today by a coalition that CCPA-BC helped to convene, and that includes Indigenous organizations, workers’ rights groups, labour unions, law and policy advocates, researchers and community leaders. Want to add your voice to the call? Individuals can sign on here, and organizations can join the list… View Article

BC budget does the right thing by prioritizing investment over austerity

Mar 1, 2023
BC’s first budget under Premier David Eby includes substantial funding increases in housing, health care, income supports and cost of living tax credits, as well as allocating a record level of investment towards capital infrastructure. This not only represents much-needed progress towards meeting some of the big challenges facing our province but also prudently continues… View Article

Does the global “loss and damages” fund negotiated at COP27 offer lessons for BC?

Feb 23, 2023
The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) ended last November with an historic agreement to establish a “loss and damages” fund to address the impacts of climate change on the most vulnerable nations. Given the disasters BC has faced over the last couple of years, is this a model the province could draw on to… View Article

To break housing gridlock, we need to democratize unrepresentative public hearings

Feb 22, 2023
Housing policy has a democracy problem. Amid a housing crisis, highly unrepresentative public hearing processes contribute to land-use decisions that fail to reflect the perspectives and interests of all affected residents. But the right reforms can help deepen democracy and break housing gridlock. At the municipal level, decisions about providing new housing are typically made… View Article

Big challenges and opportunities for the BC budget

Feb 16, 2023
British Columbia is facing big social and environmental challenges ahead of Budget 2023: sky high rents, health care under enormous strain, a toxic drugs crisis, climate disruption and the need to build and rebuild crucial but eroded public services (to name a few). The good news is that BC has more than enough fiscal and… View Article

Greenlighting fracking while protecting treaty rights?

Feb 13, 2023
Agreement with BC aside, 1000s of gas wells await Blueberry River First Nations When the Blueberry River First Nations took the provincial government to court in March 2015, arguing that cumulative industrial developments had robbed them of their ability to hunt and fish, oil and gas companies could see trouble lay ahead.  So what did… View Article

Still so far from home: An update on BC’s 114,000 homes promise

Feb 10, 2023
There is a huge opportunity for the BC government, under new leadership, to address housing affordability by making major investments in non-market housing. A growing number of commentators have recognized that the market alone cannot solve BC’s housing problem, particularly for low- to middle-income households. Major investments in non-market housing could include a much larger… View Article

Spending What It Takes: Transformational climate investments for long-term prosperity in Canada

Feb 9, 2023
The world is confronted with a slew of accelerating and converging crises, from climate change and biodiversity loss to energy insecurity, unaffordable living and rising inequality. In the face of these challenges, Canada must urgently and equitably decarbonize every sector of the economy both to contribute our fair share of the global climate effort and… View Article

Will 2023 be the year BC farmworkers finally receive basic minimum wage protections?

Jan 26, 2023
The majority of BC households are stressed because of debt and inflation. It’s even worse for one group of farmworkers who, legally, may earn less than minimum wage. While British Columbians rang in the New Year, the provincial government quietly increased the minimum piece rate wage for farmworkers by a pitiful 2.8 per cent—their first… View Article

Counting the Costs and Contradictions of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Jan 23, 2023
Canada’s uneasy relationship between climate change and fossil fuel development was illustrated in November 2021 when seven atmospheric rivers hit southern BC. The “big one” starting on Nov. 13 led to massive flooding and landslides that crippled infrastructure and isolated the south coast from the rest of Canada.  Among the shutdowns was the Trans Mountain… View Article

Running on Empty

Jan 18, 2023
Closure of Prince George pulp mill all about running out of forest   The pending closure of a pulp mill in Prince George and the loss of 300 high-paying jobs in the community is just the beginning of what promises to be a new and painful chapter in the province’s beleaguered forest industry, which has already… View Article

David Eby’s chance to change the game on housing

Jan 12, 2023
With a new premier at the helm, the BC government has an opportunity to shift its housing policy into high gear. One of the most effective approaches the province could take would be to massively increase public investment in non-market housing. Whether Premier Eby, along with new housing minister Ravi Kahlon, seizes this opportunity will… View Article

Swimming against the tide

Dec 7, 2022
The challenge of higher interest rates and high household debt  The run-up of interest rates since March, led by the Bank of Canada in a bid to tame inflation, represents a substantial economic shock, one that is now pushing the country towards a recession. The bank’s overnight, or policy, interest rate is now at 4.25… View Article

Severe climate events cost BC economy billions more than reported estimates

Nov 30, 2022
Caroline and Paul Mosterman have seen their share of unusual weather in four-plus decades of farming. But nothing comes remotely close to what they experienced in November 2021 when their Sumas Prairie farm was inundated by floodwater. Because the couple farmed on a floodplain, they had no flood insurance. So, when their farm buildings, blueberry… View Article

Living wage increases highlight urgent need to expand government efforts on housing affordability

Nov 17, 2022
Affordability has long been a concern for residents of Metro Vancouver—a region notorious for stratospheric housing costs—but with inflation shooting up to a 40-year high this year, the cost of living has become a much more pressing worry for many. Sticker shock at ever-rising grocery prices is now an all-too-familiar experience, but as prices soar… View Article

Soft rock and a soft touch

Nov 16, 2022
Trove of FOI documents sheds new light on lax regulation of troubled Site C dam It was the bureaucratic equivalent of waiting for a box of Timbits and a Double-Double at the Tim Hortons’ drive thru.  In the space of just hours on a single day in June 2020, the provincial government office in charge… View Article